Before beds in boxes were taking over the mattress industry, there was the original memory foam mattress. Memory foam hit the mattress industry in the 90s and continues to be one of the most popular mattress options. If you’re not a fan of the bouncy feel that comes from an innerspring mattress, memory foam might be for you. The best memory foam mattresses provide pressure relief by contouring to your body, and should offer a good amount of compression support.
Memory foams work like a lot of other foam mattresses. They start with a thick support layer of poly foam that provides the foundation for the mattress. On top of this foundation layer are layers of memory foam. The best foam mattress will hug your frame, so that the more pressure you place on the mattress, the more hug you feel. A memory foam mattress will contour to your shape, relieving pressure points and providing support where it’s most needed.
If you’re looking for the top-rated memory foam mattress of 2018, we’ve put together the guide below to help you choose. But first, let’s learn a bit more about memory foam and its pros and cons.
Who Should Use a Memory Foam Mattress?
No type of mattress provides a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Different types of people will benefit more from specific types of mattresses than others. The primary groups of people that tend to do well on memory foam mattresses include:
Sleepers with Aches and Pains – memory foam is excellent at providing pressure relief, which can help alleviate aches and pains that plague many people. The best memory foam mattress will hit a perfect middle ground between softness and support; providing support where it’s needed, and relieving pressure in key areas prone to aches and pains.
Sleepers Who Toss and Turn – if you find yourself restless at night, tossing and turning looking for a comfortable position, you may be sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress! Memory foam does a great job of improving initial comfort, allowing your body to settle in to a comfortable, healthy position – and stay there through the night.
Sleepers with Allergies – traditional plush-top mattresses can play host to dust mites, which can cause allergies in a significant portion of the population. Luckily, memory foam mattresses are largely immune to this issue, because the fibers found in memory foam are not good environments for dust mites. You should still regularly replace your pillows and wash your sheets often in order to fight allergies, but getting a memory foam mattress can help quite a bit with keeping dust mites and other allergens at bay.
Sleepers Who Run a Little Hot – if you find yourself getting hot during the night, a good memory foam bed may help. You may have heard quite the opposite – that memory foam mattresses absorb heat and can make you hot at night – which was true, but is no longer necessarily the case. The original memory foam products did run quite hot, but manufacturers have developed clever ways to assist with heat distribution. Today, the best memory foam beds are actually quite cool. However, if you sleep very hot at night, memory foam might be best to avoid altogether (see below).
Who Shouldn’t Use a Memory Foam Mattress?
Just as memory foam is the ideal material for some folks, it’s simply not the best choice for some sleepers. Here are the groups that will typically want to avoid memory foam:
Heavier Sleepers – if you’re overweight or simply a large person, you may wish to avoid memory foam and check out our list of the best mattresses for heavy people. When more weight is applied to memory foam, it tends to sag more – so, heavier people may not receive the support they need from memory foam, and would be better off with an innerspring or hybrid mattress.
Sleepers Who Run Very Hot – as plenty of memory foam mattress reviews will tell you, the material can sleep hot. This primarily applies to traditional memory foam, as the newer styles of foam have better heat distribution and cooling. The newer models with copper infused or gel infused memory foam will have significantly better cooling than traditional styles – but, even still, for sleepers who sleep very hot at night, memory foam may not be the best option.
What IS Memory Foam? Are There Different Types?
What is memory foam, anyways? Well, it’s magic!
Nah, just kidding. It’s a nifty product made from viscoelastic, that was originally developed by NASA for use in aircraft seats. It’s both very soft and very energy absorbent. Memory foam works by molding to the body, based on inputs of body heat and physical pressure. Today, there are a couple different types of memory foam, including:
Traditional Memory Foam – the “vanilla” or plain memory foam was the first to enter the commercial market. It takes a while to adjust to your body, so it has that “sink-in” feeling. Also, traditional memory foam sleeps rather hot, as it’s not good at dispersing body heat.
Open Cell Memory Foam – open cell foam varieties have a quicker response time, meaning that they adjust to the contours of your body almost immediately. They are also significantly better at dispersing heat than traditional foam varieties.
Gel Memory Foam – gel varieties are typically open cell memory foam that has been infused with gel materials. The gel is typically added to help with heat dispersion.
Copper-Infused Memory Foam – copper, in a mattress, you say? Yep! Copper is added to certain high end memory foams in order to improve their heat dispersion (as copper is an excellent conductor). Additionally, copper has antimicrobial properties, which can help to keep your mattress more sanitary.
The Best Memory Foam Mattresses of 2018
We analyzed many models to determine the best options on the market. For more info on how we made these selections, see the “How We Chose” section at the bottom of this page.
Key Features: Excellent heat diffusion/cooling, thanks to copper-infused memory foam; mattress has a soft side and a medium-firm side, and can be flipped to use either way.
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $499-$999
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 120 nights
The Layla Mattress is perhaps the best memory foam mattress on the market today. It’s made with copper-infused memory foam, which is excellent at dispersing heat to improve cooling. It’s also quite affordable, has a free 4-month trial, and is backed by an excellent company.
If you take a look at the picture above, you’ll note that the Layla mattress has 4 distinct layers: copper infused memory foam, convoluted air flow foam, supportive base foam, and an additional, thinner layer of copper infused memory foam. What’s really unique about this setup is that the mattress is flippable – meaning you can flip it and sleep on either side. This allows you to choose your preference of soft or medium-firm, in the same mattress!
There’s a risk-free 120-night risk-free trial with this mattress, so you’ll have plenty of time to feel things out before you commit. Overall, Layla provides phenomenal value for the price, and is one of our favorites across multiple categories.
Eight Sleep Mars+
Key Features: Smart sleep-tracking technology that collects and analyzes sleep data and offers tips to improve sleep quality; hybrid memory foam & innerspring design provides “best of both worlds”.
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $1299-$1599
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 100 nights
The Eight Sleep Mars+ is a smart bed. Yes, that’s right – in addition to smart phones, smart TVs, and smart appliances, we now have smart beds. This is actually quite exciting when you realize what this technology can do for your sleep quality and health.
The smart technology featured in the Mars+ tracks 15 different factors relating to your sleep duration, quality and health. It keeps track of sleep cycles, duration, disruptions, respiratory and heart rates, and more. It can detect when your body enters a lighter sleep cycle, and wake you up in that lighter stage of sleep using a smart alarm. It can even sync up with your smart home setup, and can be controlled by your smart phone!
Beyond the nifty technological features, the Mars+ is just an all-around great bed. It has a hybrid design featuring both memory foam and innerspring support, which provides a great combo of softness/comfort, and sturdy support. It has very little motion transfer, making it a good bed for couples, and the soft yet bouncy material makes it a good mattress for sex.
Overall, the Eight Sleep Mars+ is an innovative, comfortable and smart mattress at an affordable price. It offers a risk-free a 100-day risk-free trial, and an impressive 10-year warranty.
Key Features: Breathable Bio-Pur+ foam layer on top for enhanced cooling; soft yet supportive design with minimal sinkage.
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $1099-$1699
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 90 days
Amerisleep mattresses are soft and supportive. Measuring 14” thick, with multiple foam layers, they offer everything you need for a comforting, easy sleep. They even offer a layer of Bio-Pur+ foam as the top layer. This creates a breathable, cool surface. While the Amerisleep mattresses are soft, you don’t need to worry about a lot of sinkage. This makes it a good choice for a variety of body types.
Amerisleep offers a three-month risk-free trial with every mattress sale. The three-month trial gives you time to make sure this mattress is right for you. If not, you can return it hassle-free for a full refund. If you keep your Amerisleep it also comes with a 10-year warranty.
Thinking about giving Amerisleep a try? Get the latest Amerisleep coupon code and see how much you can save.
Key Features: Made with a combination of luxury memory foam and high resilience foam; medium-firm to firm composition.
Price Range (Twin-Cal. King): $499-$949
Risk-Free Trial: Try it risk-free for 100 nights
Eve is a popular memory foam mattress from an up-and-coming European company. The mattress definitely falls on the firmer side of the spectrum – our Eve review noted it as about a 7 or 8 out of 10. So, this will be a good choice for those who want a fairly firm memory foam mattress.
The composition of Eve is made up of 3 layers: a durable base layer, a firm polyurethane support layer, and a softer layer of luxury memory foam on top for increased comfort. The mattress has minimal motion transfer, making it a good choice for couples. It’s relatively good at dispersing heat, thanks to the breathable mid layer – but there are definitely cooler mattresses out there.
The Eve mattress offers a risk-free 100 day trial to allow you to fully test out the mattress. It also comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Thinking about trying out an Eve mattress? Get your exclusive Eve mattress coupon code and take $100 off at checkout with code eve100sleepzoo.
With the variety of excellent memory foam mattresses on this list, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the best memory foam mattress for you. That said, if you need some additional help, our mattress guide is always available. We are also happy to answer reader questions via comment, social media or email!
You’ve now seen our top picks for the best memory foam mattress – but why should you actually trust us? How are we more trustworthy than your neighborhood mattress salesman, or any other mattress website?
Experience – our team is lead by Chris Brantner, Certified Sleep Science Coach. Publications including Bustle, Fatherly, Brit + Co and others have all featured his expert opinions and advice.
Testing – we spent countless hours analyzing and testing mattresses from many of the world’s top online mattress companies. We took ridiculously detailed notes on our findings, and worked hard to determine the best models for our readers in each category.
Research – we also conducted hundreds (thousands?) of hours of internet research to expand upon our own hands-on findings. We of course checked manufacturer websites for specifications, materials, etc. as well as popular and trusted resources like Consumer Reports. But we also paid particular attention to memory foam mattress reviews, from real, verified customers. By spreading a wide net, we were able to verify our own findings and ensure no stone was left unturned.
Interest – put simply, our team is obsessed with sleep. We of course review individual mattresses and put together guides like the one you’re reading now – but we also regularly report on sleep science, sleep tips and sleep news. Our goal is to help our readers get better sleep, and we recognize that that goal requires more than just mattress reviews.
How We Chose the Best Memory Foam Mattress
There are a million and one mattress models out there, so how did we go about selecting the best memory foam mattress for our readers? We analyzed a combination of factors, including:
Comfort – obviously, comfort comes first when it comes to mattresses. And not just initial comfort – we picked models that are known to stand up to the tests of time and remain comfortable years down the road.
Cooling – memory foam has an outdated reputation for being too hot, particularly for hot sleepers and those in warm climates. While traditional memory foam was quite warm, newer styles have much better cooling properties. We made sure to pick models with excellent heat distribution and cooling.
Motion Transfer – for couples, having a bed with minimal motion transfer/good motion isolation is key. A bed with good motion isolation essentially allows you to change positions or get out of bed, without disturbing your sleep partner. Memory foam in general is good for motion isolation, but the models we recommended performed particularly well in this regard.
Versatility – we worked to pick mattresses that are great for all types of sleepers (side sleepers, back sleepers, etc.) Memory foam is a versatile material by nature, but some models are more flexible than others.
Value – the mattress industry is notorious for sky-high markups. In order to provide value for our readers, we worked hard to choose only models that offer significant value at their price point. We didn’t necessarily choose the cheapest of the cheap (which is a good thing), but we stuck to affordable models that provide a lot of value.
Perks – even the best memory foam mattress is nothing without a great company standing behind it. We exclusively recommend models that are made by reputable companies that offer good perks, like extended warranties, risk-free trial offers, and good customer service.
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